:: USS SARATOGA (1925) ::

USS Saratoga aircraft carrier (1925) High resolution picture

The USS Saratoga was an American aircraft carrier launched in 1925, which participated in the Second World War and survived only to be destined as target for the nuclear tests in the Bikini Atoll in 1946. The USS Saratoga and her twin USS Lexington were in their time the largest aircraft carriers in the world. These ships resulted particularly deficient in maneuvering, due to their single-rudder design, which was insufficient to efficiently steer such large vessels, and due as well to their characteristic huge funnel, which somehow acted like a lateen sail in presence of strong side winds, causing alterations in the course of the ship.

The Lexington class had been originally conceived as a class of fast cruisers during the First World War and because of this a characteristic trait of these ships was their unusually heavy armament; their 203-millimeter turrets were intended against surface targets and they were indeed the kind of artillery that a cruiser would carry, when aircraft carriers usually had installed the artillery corresponding to a destroyer. The USS Saratoga had this battery removed in 1942 and replaced by 127-millimeter dual-purpose mountings. This decision was correct, since an aircraft carrier could not really defend herself against surface threats by means of artillery.

One of the aircraft carried by the USS Saratoga in the decade of 1930 was the naval fighter Boeing P-12/F4B, which was suitable for dive bombing.

Class: Lexington (2 units - Lexington (CV-2), Saratoga (CV-3))

Type: Aircraft carrier

Length: 271.1 meters as built; 275.2 meters in 1945

Beam: 39.7 meters

Draught: 9.8 meters

Displacement (standard): 33560 tonnes as built; 35560 tonnes in 1945

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x turbo-electric transmission set, 4 x steam turbine, 16 x boiler Yarrow (White-Foster in 1945), 210000 horsepower

Speed: 33.2 knots (61.5 kilometers/hour)

Range: 10000 nautical miles (19000 kilometers) at 10 knots

Fuel: 9026 tonnes of petrol

Complement: 2122 as built; 3300 in 1945

Armament (as built): 8 x 203-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 12 x 127-millimeters 25-caliber cannon

Armament (in 1945): 16 x 127-millimeter 25-caliber cannon, 96 x 40-millimeter cannon, 32 x 20-millimeter cannon

Armor: 152 millimeters in belt, 76 millimeters in main deck, 25-76 millimeters in lower deck, 25-76 millimeters in main turrets

Aircraft: 90 as built; 80 in 1945

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